By Lannis Timmons
North College Hill came into their game against Clark Montessori on a 16 game winning streak with a league leading 11-2 record, and overall 17-2 record. The Trojans proved to be too much for the Cougars as they defeated Clark 68-60. Clark, who had won four games in a row, was 10-3 in the conference and 11-8 overall.
North College Hill got off to a good start behind DeAirius Barker, who led the way with 7 points, while freshman Kaden Warner followed with 6 points, but the Cougars kept it close with junior D’Shawnti Hawkins, who scored 6 points. Terrance McClain was able to put 4 points on the scoreboard trailed by 5 points 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.
As the second quarter began, Lorenzo Sparks started to heat up, as the senior was getting to the basket, rather it was going to his left or to his right, or pulling up for the mid-range jump shot, Sparks finished with 10 points in the second quarter, with Kaden Warner close behind with 8 points. Clark was able to get the ball inside to junior Micah Thomas, who connected on 6 points, and had a number of rebounds as well, and sophomore Sean Ealy found the range from behind the 3-point line, as he knocked down two 3-pointers as both teams went into the locker room with the Trojans ahead 43-31.
When the third quarter got underway, the Trojans were trying to pulled away until Marlin Lyons scored 5 points with a three pointer, and a drive to the basket for the Cougars, leaving Clark behind by 14 points 55-41 as the quarter expired.
The fourth quarter belonged to DeAiruis Barker, as the Trojan sophomore exploded for 10 points. Barker who has a good one-on-one game, was unstoppable going to the basket, and pulling up for the short jump shot. But the Cougars wouldn’t go away easy, as Micah Thomas went for 8 points in the final quarter, as he was having his way around the basket. Sean Ealy came alive again, as he scored 4 points in the quarter. Clark had three players in double figures, led by Ealy with 16 points, Micah Thomas with 14 points, and D’Shawnti Hawkins with 12 points.
Barker led the Trojans in scoring, as he finished with a team high 20 points; Leronzo Sparks was right behind with 17 point; and freshman Kaden Warner hustled for 14 points. Even though Charles Swiam didn’t score at least 10 points, but with his leadership, talking to his teammates on defense, rebounding, and hitting a big 3-point basket when Clark was trying to make run at the Trojans.
There are a lot of coaches out there doing a good job with their teams this year. Steve Gentry comes to mind. But coach Shannon Minor is doing a great job with the North College Hill team. The Trojans are 17-2 overall, and 11-2 in the league. They will be at Norwood, and the Trojans will host Summit Country Day.
With the tournament draw Sunday, it will be interesting to see what kind of seed North College Hill get, but don’t sleep on the Cougars either.